Man found dead in one of 11 homes destroyed in San Diego County fire

Update at 9:30 p.m. PT, September 25, 2012:

CAL FIRE revised the number of structures that were affected by the fire. Destroyed were 11 residences, 14 outbuildings and 11 vehicles, while 2 residences were damaged. The fire has burned 2,851 acres and it is 90 percent contained. Resources on the fire include 1,402 personnel, 115 engines, and 47 hand crews.


Originally published at 9:10 a.m. PT. September 25, 2012

The body of a man was found in a home that was destroyed in the Shockey fire, a 2,851-acre wildfire in eastern San Diego County. After hearing from neighbors that the man may have been in the house when the fire burned through the area, investigators examined what was left of his house and discovered his remains.

Map, Shockey Fire - September 25, 2012
Map, Shockey Fire – September 25, 2012. The yellow squares represent heat detected by satellites. Google/MODIS/Wildfire Today (click to enlarge)

Firefighters are still tallying the damage but preliminary estimates are that 20 homes were destroyed along with 10 that were damaged. About 15 outbuildings also burned.

The fire started Sunday afternoon near the Shockey Truck Trail at California Highway 94 on the Campo Indian Reservation. It spread quickly forcing the evacuations of 600 people in the communities of Boulevard and Jacumba. Most of the evacuations have been lifted but some are still in effect.

Here is a link to a map provided by CAL FIRE that shows the fire perimeter.

Tuesday morning 855 personnel, 80 engines, and 40 hand crews were assigned to the fire which is still active on the east side and is 55 percent contained, according to CAL FIRE.

The video below is a summary of the wildfire activity in California for the last week. It includes some information about the Shockey fire.


Helicopter fighting Scotts fire malfunctions, extracted by Chinook

A California National Guard Blackhawk helicopter that was working on the Scotts Fire east of Ukiah, California (map) had to make a precautionary landing Friday, September 7 when a warning light came on. It set down on private land and was unable to be repaired on the site. It was not accessible to a flat bed truck that could haul it away so the National Guard brought in a Chinook helicopter which extracted the Blackhawk. The video of the operation was shot by John Jensen of Lake County News.

And speaking of the Scotts Fire, in case you missed the excellent video shot by Tim Walton that we posted on September 10, here it is again. It shows four different models of air tankers dropping retardant on the fire, an S-2T, DC-10, BAe-146, and a MAFFS C-130.

The Scotts Fire is 100 percent contained after burning 4,618 acres.

Three firefighters entrapped and injured on the Likely Fire

Three firefighters on a crew in California suffered first and second degree burns on the Likely Fire northwest of Likely, California (map) on September 5. They were members of the CAL FIRE Devils Garden Crew 4 constructing fireline when a wind shift caused numerous spot fires. The firefighters attempted to retreat into a previously burned area when their escape route was blocked by a barbed wire fence. They received burns on their faces and were transported by a ground ambulance to a hospital where they were treated and released.

A Joint Accident Investigation Team comprised of BLM and CAL FIRE subject matter experts will be investigating the incident.

According to the criteria published by all facial burns should be treated at a burn unit, so we hope the firefighters received appropriate medical treatment and were not simply treated and released at the Modoc Medical Center in Alturas as stated in the 24-hour report.

Southern California brush fire in San Gabriel Canyon

Williams Fire, Sept 2, 2012
Williams Fire, Sept 2, 2012. Photo by 10 Tanker Air Carrier

The Williams Fire started in San Gabriel Canyon north of Azusa in southern California Sunday afternoon and through the afternoon and evening grew to 3,600 acres. The origin was between Camp Williams and the shooting range along East Fork Road in San Gabriel Canyon about 3.5 miles east of Highway 39. A map showing the location of the Williams fire is below.

Map of Williams Fire Sept 2, 2012. MODIS
Map of Williams Fire. The red circles represent the location of heat detected by a satellite. Sept. 2, 2012. MODIS (click to enlarge)

San Gabriel Canyon, which will be closed on Monday, Labor Day, typically sees over 10,000 visitors on a holiday weekend.

At least 300 personnel are assigned to the fire, as well as 9 air tankers, 4 helicopters, 30 engines, 2 dozers, and 4 hand crews. It is moving north through very steep terrain toward the Sheep Mountain Wilderness area. As of 2 a.m. Monday morning the fire was listed as 5 percent contained.

All of the photos below were taken by the crew on Air Tanker 911, a DC-10 which earlier on Sunday was repositioned from Casper, Wyoming where it had been based while working the fires in Nebraska, to Sacramento. From Sacramento it was dispatched to this fire, and Sunday night was at San Bernardino. The second DC-10, T-910, was recently released from their Call When Needed contract and sent home.

Williams Fire
Williams Fire, Sept 2, 2012. Photo by 10 Tanker Air Carrier
Williams Fire, Sept 2, 2012. Photo by 10 Tanker Air Carrier
Williams Fire, Sept 2, 2012. Photo by 10 Tanker Air Carrier

The LA Times has a nice collection of photos of the fire.

Engine burns on North Pass fire in northern California

North Pass fire
North Pass fire, as seen from Round Valley Airport. Undated InciWeb photo

An engine burned on the North Pass fire on the Mendocino National Forest on Saturday. The four crewpersons moved into a safety zone and were not injured. A facilitated learning analysis team has been requested.

One residence has been destroyed since Friday along with some outbuildings, bringing the total of burned structures to six. The fire has burned 26,648 acres and is 33 percent contained. Working on the fire are 1,534 personnel, 106 engines, and 65 dozers.

The fire is active on the northeast and east sides. The InciWeb report mentions extreme fire behavior and extreme terrain as some of the barriers they are attempting to overcome.